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Huddys interview Guide

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by Admiral Huddy, 14 Sep 2005.

  1. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

    There have been a few interview questions recently, so as I’ve been bored at work, I thought I’d compile a useful guide of some interviewing notes. This maybe useful for those seeking their first job or those moving on.

    Excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes.

    Hope this is useful.


    Preparing for an interview

    Research the company. Obtain company brochures and think of the qualities that the company will be looking from you.

    Bring a notepad and a pen to write on. It looks good if you write down points during the interview. On the pad write down at least 5 questions that you will ask the interviewer during the course of the interview. However, ask the interviewer if he/she doesn’t mind you writing down information during the interview. Leave a few questions for the end if you can.

    - Check the date, time and venue of the interview. Make sure you have your route planned and allow plenty of time. Remember to bring your research notes.

    - Check that you know the name and title of the interviewer.

    - Make sure you are very smart. For men, wear a dark suit, white shirt, conservative tie, dark shoes and dark socks. For ladies wear a dark suit also, white blouse, dark shoes and dark tights.

    - Ensure you are showered or bathed and your hair is tidy. Long hair should be worn up.

    - Do not go drinking the night before and do not drink before the interview. You want to be at your sharpest and you don’t want to smell of alcohol. Avoid wearing aftershave or perfume if you can. If you must, only wear a very small amount.

    - Arrive at the location early but at the interview on time. Check your appearance and re-read your notes.

    - When you meet your interviewer give a firm handshake and only sit when you are invited to.

    - Watch your language and your Ps & Qs.

    The interviewer is looking to satisfy five key requirements:

    - Can you do the job?

    - Do you fit into the company image?

    - Will you compliment or disrupt the department?

    - Is the money right?

    - Can you help the interviewer to be more successful in his/her job?

    Beware of the five deadly traps:

    - Failure to listen to the questions asked

    - Answering a question that was not asked.

    - Providing superfluous information.

    - Attempting to interview without preparation.

    - Being too passive. Remember the interview is a two way dialogue.

    Personality profile

    The interviewer will be looking for these personal qualities and you need to find examples of each one from your work experience. Make note of these in your interview pad and learn:

    You are goal oriented and want the to get things done

    You are enthusiastic and willing to ask questions. You take the initiative and enjoy challenges.

    You can talk and write effectively

    You are confident and optimistic. You don’t get rattled so to speak. You are a team player and not a space cowboy 

    You work hard and give that little bit extra.

    You don’t back off when the going gets tough. You will see a job through.

    You are not arrogant, but friendly, honest and open.

    Doing the job yourself both properly and on time.

    Honesty Integrity
    Taking responsibility for your actions and making decisions in the best interest of your company.

    Pride in a job well done paying attention to detail.

    Doing what ever it takes to see something through to completion.

    Decision making
    The ability to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

    The ability to listen and understand.

    The ability to save money for the company by being both efficient and economical

    The ability to make the company money through your contributions in one way or another, which is the goal of every company.

    The direct experience you can offer your new employer (hopefully)

    Once you have listed all your qualities, you can then match off these qualities to the requirements of the job. The objective of all interviews is to successfully match your qualities to the requirements of the job.

    Write as many examples of this in your interview notes.

    More to come>>>>
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2005
  2. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

    The interview questions and answers!

    Be prepared what you may be asked and research answers before you go to the interview.

    You will be asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions yourself. Have a few up your sleeve and never say “no I don’t”.

    Here are a few questions and way they may be asked:


    “What are your reasons for your success in this profession?” “What makes you tick?”


    “I attribute my success to 3 reasons: Support from my team, pride in my work and finding an economical solution to a problem.”

    Think of example


    “What is your energy level like? ”, “Describe a typical day?” “How well do you work under pressure?”

    “What is your time management like?”, “ Can you organise yourself?”


    Describe how you would prepare each day and that you monitor your work closely and review your performance at the end of the day.

    “I work until 6 most days and often at weekend if the job I’m doing demands it and I clear my desk at the end of each day”.

    “I find pressure stimulation but avoidable if the correct preparation is taken to meet deadlines”.


    “Why do you want to work here?”, “What interests you most about this job?”


    Ok good opportunity to list companies attributes and requirements here, and then maytch some of your key qualities to each of the requirements. This is where your homework will pay off!!

    Finish with “I want to develop my career and your company has the best training, support and products. Our goals are the same”.

    Find out single biggest requirement or challenge, and say this is what interests you. Display the traits that will satisfy the need ;)


    “What kind of experience do you have for this job?”, “How quickly can you contribute to our current projects etc?”


    Think of what the company most needs and ask the interviewer what he most wants. Then answer with specific qualifications and examples.


    “Are you willing to go where the company sends you?”, “How loyal and deicated are you?”


    Ask if they are talking about business travel or relocation? Try and find out before the interviews if either of the case is true. Don’t take the interview if there is travel or relocation and you’re not prepared to do so.


    “What are did you like/dislike about you last job?”, “What did you learn and what do you want to learn?”


    Don’t criticise your last company. Point out all the things you learnt and stress one negative which is something that the interviewers company is better at. The interviewer will want to hear this.


    “How do you feel about your career to date?”, “How do you feel about your progress?”, “Have you done the best work you are capable of doing?”


    Be positive but stress that the best is yet to come. Stress that you know your work and understand its importance within the company. You can make a significant contribution.


    “How long would you stay with this company?”


    This may be a closing signal.

    “I would like to settle down with this company. As long as I am growing professionally then there is no reason to make a move. How long do you think I could be happy here?”


    How long would it take you to make a contribution to our company?”


    Qualify and close?

    “What do you anticipate my responsibilities will be for the first 6 months?”

    Get the interviewer to concentrate on images of you working for him. “Do you have anything specific in mind for me?”


    “What would you like to be doing in 5 years?”


    Looking for research and loyalty?

    Show you are a true professional and a team player, and say “I would like to be making a contribution at a more senior level.” Ask about career opportunities and answer with what the interviewer wants to hear.


    “What are your qualifications for this job?”, “What have you learnt from your previous jobs?”, “What can you offer us?”


    Find the job requirements and match them to your qualifications. Ask what you will be working on at first and then describe your qualifications in terms of previous work you have done.


    “What are your greatest achievements?”


    Do not mention the downed 10 pints of lager from last Saturday night:D

    Emphasise your work. Team work, professionalism, hard work, and economy should be highlighted in your examples. Don’t exaggerate!!


    “What is your greatest strength?”, “Why should we hire YOU?”, “What is the single most important quality that you can offer me?”


    Think of the most important job requirement. State a relevant personal quality and illustrate with a job-related examples.


    “How much money do you want?”, “What do you think you’re worth?”


    Ask what the salary range is, and say “I am very keen to work for you and will consider any reasonable amount”

    I love this answer.. Don’t mention an amount if you can.


    “What are you looking for in you next job?”, “What contributions will you make?”


    Say what you will give the company not ask what the company will give you “ I am looking for a company which will provide the environment for me to contribute even more than I did at my last job”.


    “Describe a difficult problem that you have had to deal with?”


    Describe and give and example of your analytical skills?

    “I always fellow a five step format – I sit back and examine the problem; I understand the problem; I list possible solutions; I evaluate the consequences and costs of each solution; I go to my boss, outline the problem, make recommendations and ask for my superiors advice and approach.”


    “In what ways has your job prepared you to take on extra or greater responsibilities?”


    Give an example of your professional growth?
  3. Kell_ee001


    Joined: 19 Oct 2004

    Posts: 12,386

    Location: Jesmond

    WOW! You must have been bored! :p

    Some really good and useful advise in there though :D
  4. Xtremepenguin

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,308

    whoah, nice guide, im gonna cpoy and paste this and save it!!!
  5. Piggymon


    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 16,843

    Location: On MB's Boat - Drinking


    Well done that man :)
  6. Haly

    Woman of Honour

    Joined: 6 Dec 2003

    Posts: 1,794

    :eek: That looks incredibly useful. Thanks very much for writing all that up :) As a newcomer to the interview process, it'll be incredibly useful for me in the near future when I start trying for graduate jobs.
    Thanks! :D
  7. Phantom


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,804

    Location: Southampton, Hampshire

    there are some interviewers/employers who could benefit by reading this :p
  8. Amleto


    Joined: 13 Feb 2003

    Posts: 6,141

    Great stuff. Should be a sticky somewhere :D
  9. FishFluff


    Joined: 7 Nov 2003

    Posts: 5,466

    Location: Scotland

    Mr Huddy, you seem to know a lot about interviewing so if you don't mind i have a question. At work there is a new vacancy being created in my current team which my line manager has informed me about. In a lot of companies I would probably just be offered the job, but as this is the public sector I still have to apply along with other (potentially more experienced) external candidates. Our recruitment policy states that all candidates, whether internal or external, should be asked the same set of questions and one of the interview panel will be my current line manager. My manager has stated that he'd like me to apply for the job, but a points scoring system is used to determine which candidate is selected. What's the best way of dealing with interviews where one of the interview panel is your current line manager?
  10. converse_uprise

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,430

    Location: Leeds, Sheffield & LU7

    Very useful. Have 5 stars, must of taken alot of effort.
  11. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

    treat the interview as if it were another job you are going for. The interviewer should treat you no differently to those of external applications. The only difference being that they already know your character and profile. This can han influential either way. However, given that your boss has made a suggestion sounds like it just a formality but avoid getting to complacent just in case. :)
  12. Belmit

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 7 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,612

    Location: The Winchester

    Good guide - there's a couple of questions I've been asked in the past which I've luckily prepared for, but they're real stinkers:

    Q. What are some of your shortcomings?

    A. You can't just say 'nothing', it's arrogant and requires no thought. You need to mention at least one thing, but put a positive spin on it e.g. "Once I've started something I just have to see it through to the end". This makes it sound like you see it as a negative point about yourself but the interviewer is more likely to see it as a positive. But, for goodness sake don't say "I'm a bit of a perfectionist" - it's about as lame as you can get!

    Q. Were there any questions you were hoping I wouldn't ask?

    A. The bounders! If you say no, you're open to anything they throw at you (and you're probably lying ;) ). If you say yes, and mention what that question is, they will inevitably ask you what your answer to that question would have been. Again, you need to have an answer ready. I got around by saying that I was hoping they wouldn't ask me where I'm going to be in five/ten years time, since the IT industry is constantly evolving. The bottom line is, it doesn't matter what question you tell them you were hoping they wouldn't ask, as long as you have an answer prepared for that question.

    Hope this helps. :)
  13. Mad old tory


    Joined: 25 May 2003

    Posts: 9,361

    Location: Limehouse

    Great guide Mr Huddy, methinks this should be added to the sticky pronto :)
  14. chopchop


    Joined: 14 Jun 2004

    Posts: 6,118

    lots of tips there!

    the one about money is a good one, i once went for a job and they asked me what pay i wanted, now it wasnt an unreasonable amount, ~10k and they said they would only pay 7k or something, you can imagine what i thought to that... "lol screw you i thinks to myself" :D
  15. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

    I was asked once "How do people see you as"..

    How do you answer that?

    "They see me as a foot pervy" hehe

    I can't remember what I said.
  16. Heliospherez


    Joined: 3 Jan 2004

    Posts: 3,489

    Location: At Home

    As I dont see this one see this on your very comprehensive guide....I thought I would include one I once got asked........

    'Why are most man-hole covers round ?'

    And this was for a job as a Mechanical Engineer.

    Heres more
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2005
  17. tiggy


    Joined: 3 Nov 2004

    Posts: 590

    Location: Lincoln

    Some excelent pointers Mr Huddy.

    2 tips that I have are make sure that when you are using the above advice you're posture in your chair is good. Sit with your back a few cm away from the back of your chair with your feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap.

    Eye contact is very important. If there are 2 or more people interviewing you make sure you answer each person's question whilst giving them eye contact. And smile whenever appropriate. :)

    It's always worked for me.
  18. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

  19. Admiral Huddy


    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,608

    Location: Chelmsford

    i will add that - cheers
  20. Stretch


    Joined: 14 Feb 2004

    Posts: 13,386

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    You could sum up the whole personality profile section in one sentance.

    I'm willing to be your bitch, and enjoy it.